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The paper faces the problem of the automatic classification of the stresses affecting the quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM). This problem arises when a continuous monitoring system is needed for improving the quality of service (QoS) in communication networks based on such a modulation scheme. In particular, a method based on image processing is proposed. It automatically analyses the constellation diagram and selects the stress actually present through a template matching technique. The results of the first simulations, carried out on signals affected by different stresses and SNRs are presented and discussed. Some experimental results are also shown.